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First drive: 2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.

First drive: 2022 Citroen C5 X
Citroenís wafty new estate car aims to provide comfort, style and space but does it hit the mark?


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2022 Citroen C5 X

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Citroen hasn't built a properly big car in years, so it's high time a new flagship arrived from somewhere. And here it is, in the svelte shape of the new C5 X. Built to combine the qualities of an estate car, an SUV and a saloon, it's supposed to be the last word in comfort and space, delivered with particularly French verve. We tested a range-topping plug-in hybrid model to find out whether it delivers.

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2022 Citroen C5 X Shine Plus PureTech 225 e-EAT8
Price: £42,710 (as tested)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol with electric motor
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Battery: 12.4kWh
Power: 225hp
Torque: 250Nm
Emissions: 30g/km
Economy: 186.2-236.2mpg
0-62mph: 7.9 seconds
Top speed: 145mph
Boot space: 485-1,580 litres


Citroen has worked hard to ensure the C5 X looks the part, and it has largely succeeded. The overall design is attractive, but there's a slightly odd mixture of ruggedness and style, merged with the traditional Citroen funkiness. The V-shaped headlights give it a modern yet tough look, as do the scalloped bonnet, chunky haunches and deep lower grille. But the back end is sportier and stronger, with its big tail lights and slanted rear window.


Citroen cabins have not traditionally been their best feature, but the French brand has stepped things up of late. The C5 X feels pretty solid for the most part, although some cheaper plastics are in evidence down below knee level. But that's fairly common these days, and with such a premium feel elsewhere, we won't hold that against the C5 X.

Less impressive, however, is the digital instrument cluster that's standard across the range. Small and lacking functionality, it's something of a disappointment compared with systems in other brands' models. However, the touchscreen is a vast improvement on the old system found in some other Citroens. Cleaner and more modern, it's much easier on the eye, and although it's still a bit clunky, it's easier to use, too.


The C5 X has an enormous boot, measuring 545 litres in the petrol-powered versions. That's slightly smaller than the space you'll find in a Skoda Superb, but it's still pretty roomy. It's about the same size as the luggage bay in a BMW X3. However, the plug-in hybrid model has a slightly smaller load space thanks to the complex powertrain. In total, that car has just 485 litres of luggage space up to the window line and with all five seats upright. Fold the second row down and you end up with almost 1,600 litres of capacity.


The C5 X comes with a choice of three different powertrains: two petrol engines and a plug-in hybrid, all of which come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The cheapest option is the 131hp 1.2-litre PureTech 130 engine, which feels a little small for such a big car, but the alternatives are more powerful. Thereís a 180hp 1.6-litre PureTech 180 petrol engine and a 225hp plug-in hybrid, which combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor.

Itís that final powertrain weíre testing here, complete with its 12.4kWh battery that gives it a range of between 34.2 and 38.5 miles on electrical power alone. Keep most of your journeys under that distance and charge regularly, and you might achieve something like the official three-figure economy. Perhaps more importantly, the 30g/km emissions mean company car tax rates will be kept to a minimum.

As well as being the most economical option, the plug-in hybrid is the most powerful and it offers the most performance, but everything is relative. A 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds is brisk, rather than rapid, but itís more than fast enough for most customersí needs. And itís faster than the petrol-powered cars Ė albeit only just.

Ride & Handling

The Citroen C5 X has been built for comfort, and to a large extent, it delivers. The plug-in hybrid version comes with adaptive suspension that's designed to make the car even more comfortable over the bumps. Although it works brilliantly over rounded lumps, such as cats' eyes and speed bumps, it's less competent over sharper undulations, which can occasionally catch the car off guard.

The hybrid system also makes the C5 X very refined, with very little noise from the electric motor and only a faint grumble from the petrol engine. Only when you put your foot down does the engine really make its presence felt, at which point it's more raucous than the 1.2-litre option.

Of course, the price you pay for the comfort and refinement is a lack of handling prowess, but the slack suspension and light steering won't put too many customers off. With an automatic gearbox as standard, parking sensors and reversing cameras, it's easy enough to drive, albeit a little difficult to manoeuvre at times thanks to the length.


The new C5 X starts at a very reasonable £27,790, which pays for entry-level Sense Plus trim with the 1.2-litre petrol engine. If that sounds meagre, don't be fooled. You get 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, and a reversing camera is included alongside front and rear parking sensors and the 10-inch touchscreen. If you want the plug-in hybrid system, however, the price jumps to £36,470, although you do get the clever powertrain and upgraded suspension as part of the deal.


The C5 X is definitely a Citroen. Geared for comfort and equipped with quirky styling, it's an appealing choice for families. But it has its drawbacks, and they're hard to ignore. For one, the ride isn't as smooth as you might expect, even with the trick suspension, and secondly, the hybrid doesn't have as much boot space as the petrol. The C5 X may be destined to be a niche product, but the combination of style and space should appeal to plenty of would-be customers.

James Fossdyke - 27 Jul 2022    - Citroen road tests
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2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.

2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.2022 Citroen C5 X. Image by Citroen.


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